Friday, July 20, 2007

Groundhog Day


Even as we wake up to headlines that the September deadline for progress in Iraq was being pushed to November, a top US general broke the sad and unexpected news today. Unless we keep the elevated troop levels in Iraq for another year, the war will be lost. Speaking to the Associated Press, Maj. Gen. Richard Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division said:

"It's going to take through [this] summer, into the fall, to defeat the extremists in my battle space, and it's going to take me into next spring and summer to generate this sustained security presence."
Every day we wake up to find that this administration has moved the goal posts in this war they are so desperately trying to win. The "surge" was begun in January. And from the earliest weeks, whenever an apologist for the government could point to a positive anecdote in this deadly game of whack-a-mole, the word went out, "The surge is working!" But the White House mouthpieces began to sing a different tune at the end of June in anticipation of the surge's first report card (mostly failing). On the heals of the deadliest quarter of the war for coalition troops (356 casualties, not counting Iraqis. Iraqis don't count.), Bush's surrogates began to argue that the surge had only just begun. Forget the six months since Bush announced his new, old way forward; staying the course, continuing to fight them over there so we wouldn't have to fight them over here. Forget the 600 troops that died in the course of this latest 6 month build-up.

Over thirty 18 year old American soldiers have already died in Iraq, and i often ask myself how long it took to train these fallen soldiers between their high school graduations and their orders to ship out to Iraq? America has sent tens of thousands of teenagers to the Gulf in the last 4 1/2 years. What's taking the Iraqis so long to train enough soldiers? The truth, of course, is obvious. Iraq has plenty of trained troops. The problem is that their guns are trained on each other...

and on US, as long as we leave our military in the cross hairs of Iraq.

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